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Bureau of Reclamation expects Lake Berryessa to reach capacity

Bureau of Reclamation expects Lake Berryessa to reach capacity

Monticello Dam Glory Hole

It has been a decade since the “glory hole” at Monticello Dam has siphoned off water from a full Lake Berryessa. It is shown here early in 2016 when the water level was well below the lip of the spillway. Dam managers say recent rains have filled the lake so far that it may spill for the first time in years this weekend.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation expects Lake Berryessa reservoir to fill and run into its glory hole spillway at some point in coming days for the first time in a decade.

Vistors should be careful in and around the eastern Napa County reservoir, the agency urged. It warned people to expect increased traffic on Highway 128 near Monticello Dam as people come to see the sight.

The spillway is a 72-foot-diameter concrete funnel. Water runs into it when the lake is full, disappears from sight, then reemerges running into Putah Creek near the base of the 300-foot-high dam.

Lake Berryessa has risen almost 35 feet since Jan. 1, causing unstable shorelines and sudden washouts, an agency press release said. Boaters could face floating debris from heavy rains and reduced visibility of now-submerged islands and vegetation, it said.

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Napa County Reporter

Barry Eberling covers Napa County government, transportation, the environment and general assignments. He has worked for the Napa Valley Register since fall 2014 and previously worked 27 years for the Daily Republic of Fairfield.

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